The 2018 Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International (FHI) was buzzing with excitement Thursday as international competitors and young horses performed their dressage tests. By day's end Bobby Meyerhoff led the way in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI2* Eventing National Championship with his own Almanac (As Di Volare x Fuerst Aphrodites R).
Meyerhoff piloted the 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding straight to the top of the leaderboard on a score of 26.3. Nicknamed "Maniac" in the stables for his occasional erratic behavior, Almanac impressed the judges, and his rider, with his relaxation despite the blustery weather.
"I had a specific plan with him and he warmed up really well," he said. "Yesterday he was a bit fresh and I had to ride him down a little bit and get him where I wanted him, but today was really nice. He went in and did his job. He got a little tense here and there but he was able to keep it under wraps and stay content."
Looking ahead to Saturday's cross-country test, Meyerhoff expects a challenge from designer Derek di Grazia. "It's a nice course. I think there a lot of challenges. Derek has done a great job designing it to look straightforward, nice and pleasant, but knowing his courses and terrain, that's not always how it goes. I think it's going to be a good test."
Only one tenth of a point behind, Caroline Martin is hot on their heels with her own Cristano Z. The 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding earned a score of 26.4. Third place belongs to Jenny Caras and Fernhill Trendy (ARS Vivendi x Cruising Girl), a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, on 27.1 points.
Dressage continues Friday, October 19 as Dutta FHI welcomes the CCI3* riders and the second half of the CCI2* class. The thrilling cross-country phase will be held Saturday, October 20, and the show jumping finale takes place on Sunday, October 21.
We've been riding the "corona-coaster" for several weeks now, but with the hopeful return to competition on the horizon, Nicole Brown checks in with USEA CEO Rob Burk, USEA President Max Corcoran, and Chair of the FEI Eventing Committee David O'Connor for an update on what things will look like as we get back to business.
Like most professionals, I tend to do gridwork for most of the winter, before transitioning to coursework through the competition season. I find this exercise to be a good middle ground exercise as you have a little bit of a gymnastic combined with two easy bending exercises to set you up well for doing courses.
In 1993, Stephen Bradley had something to prove. It was the year after the Barcelona Olympic Games where Bradley had two unexpected refusals at the water complex. “It was very disappointing and a huge learning curve for me,” said Bradley. Little did he know, his path to redemption would result in winning the Burghley Horse Trials CCI4* (now CCI5*-L) – a victory so great that only two Americans have achieved: Bruce Davidson Sr. in 1974 and Bradley in 1993.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has approved additional modifications to the USEF Rules For Eventing in accordance with a resolution approved by the Board of Directors to address issues related to the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The full listing of rule modifications related to COVID-19 impacts can be viewed by clicking here.